Public Release: 

Normal Cameras Can Now Take Digital Pictures

New Scientist

PHOTOGRAPHERS have been slow to adopt digital cameras, as they don't want to discard the lenses and accessories that only fit their film-based cameras. Now Kodak has an answer: it is teaming up with chip maker Intel to produce a device that lets a normal stills camera take digital pictures.

Intel holds a world patent (WO 99/ 12345) on a set of microchips that can be built into a combined image sensor and memory unit which slots into any 35-millimetre film camera. Images stored in the removable memory unit, which is shaped like a standard film cartridge, can be transferred to CD-ROM for permanent storage.

Kodak's earlier CD-ROM picture storage system, Photo CD, has just been relaunched as Picture CD, supplying images in the standard JPEG format. The next step will be to integrate Picture CD with cameras that use the Intel technology. Intel promises "compelling new developments".

Last year, the Californian company Imagek announced a device similar to Intel's (This Week, 7 March 1998, p 6). But Richard Burton, editor of Digital Photography magazine, says: "We have still not got our hands on one, or got a price. And there are still a lot of unanswered questions on how it will work."

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Author: Barry Fox New Scientist issue 15th May 1999

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